Starboard Futura 111 (Technora) :
The Futura was introduced for the 2008 season to “combine the ease and carving practicality of the Carve with the straight-line performance of the S-Type sufficiently enough to replace both ranges.”
The main design feature of the Futura range compared to previous Starboard lines is the much thinner (deck to underside) profile. There are seven boards in the series, spanning 93 to 155L, of which the six smaller designs have all been refined for the new season. This new 111 benefits from a new outline, with more width between the straps, while the tail remains pinched, finishing in the brand’s distinctive tail cutaways and side-cuts. Deck ergonomics have been refined with more dome in the tail for comfort and control, and combined with the deck concave up front it means that volume is shifted towards the rider, which Starboard say makes the board more responsive to foot pressure.
Available in either Wood or Technora construction as well as a choice of blue or red graphics, the finish of the 111 is excellent, with the latest ‘Slick Strap’ incarnation including the K9 anti-twist system, fish-scale pads with heel bumpers, and a 38cm Drake fin.
We took the 111 on the water long before we’d read Starboard’s full development thesis, and have to say that we could immediately tell it was a very different beast to the original Futura 111. Last year’s model was one of the fastest boards at the OTC, but only in the right hands and conditions. Taking it out in a choppy sea really did require strong mettle, such was its width, strap positions and deck shape. Making the board thinner had adversely affected its ease of control and trim in challenging conditions, so we were delighted to find that the changes made for 2009 have sorted all this out. The 111 is supremely stable at rest, taking a 7.5m without issue, and we’d happily put an 8.0m on it. It responds well to the provision of power and accelerates with interest. The straps, although not the easiest to find, won’t present a problem to the ambitious intermediate. Once in them, the rider’s stance is very comfortable and secure, ideally placed to load more power into the board. The fin provides excellent traction, imparting even more confidence to push harder. This board simply covers distance effortlessly, and partnered with an efficient freerace sail can exact an impressive turn of speed for very little input or requirement from the sailor.
The good news is that the top end is excellent too. With a good amount of vee in the nose and shoulders, becoming progressively less towards the tail, the 111 parts the water like Moses and retains excellent control. You just want to keep the hammer down and – yes, you guessed it – keep pushing still further!
The board has next to no crossover into a manoeuvre-oriented role, but its gybing isn’t too bad nevertheless. With a positive approach from the rider to get the rail engaged at the start, you can then tighten the turn up as aggressively as you like.
Overall, the Futura is a straightforward freeride / blasting contender – take it for a spin and you can’t help but start to race people around. Starboard have really got this one very well dialled now, and it’s a firm favourite at the Centre.
+Fast, controllable and a whole lot of fun.
-If you want more on-edge feedback, it’s only a small step up to the iSonic.
The Futura provides easy accessible freeride / blasting performance over a staggering wind range.